Wait a moment! Before you scoff all your new craft chocolate at once, take a moment to read our thoughts on how best to taste and savour your chocolate.
Slowing down and savouring will allow you to discover amazing flavours and textures you’ve never experienced before. Did you know that chocolate has over 400 distinct flavour compounds? That’s even more than a fine wine!
Good chocolate keeps very well so there’s no need to worry about having multiple bars open for a long time. That’s the joy of it! Savour the bars, compare bars side by side, compare them at different times of the day…
Before you start, find somewhere quiet and free from strong smells.
Now without further ado, let’s get started:
How to taste chocolate
- Read the label. Does it say where the beans are from (down to the specific region or farm)? Does it say where it’s made? What are the ingredients? Less is more for chocolate ingredients, and sugar should never be the first ingredient.
- Look at the bar. Carefully open the chocolate wrapper and have a good look at the bar inside. Is it shiny and glossy? In most cases, a well-tempered bar should be glossy and have very few air bubbles.
- Smell the bar. Put your nose next to the open wrapper and breathe in the bar’s aroma. Can you smell citrus, berries, nuts, or something else? A large proportion of the flavour in chocolate comes from its smell, so it’s good to take in the aroma first.
- Break off a piece. What sound does the bar make? Most well-tempered bars should break with a clean “snap”. The pitch of the snap is determined by the thickness of the bar, the length of conche, and the quality of temper.
- Put the piece on your tongue and let it melt. But don’t chew quite yet! The key to getting the most from your chocolate is to let it melt slowly on your tongue. Notice the bar’s texture. Is it smooth or grainy? If it feels glossy or fatty on the tongue, that can be a sign that extra cocoa butter has been added to the chocolate.
- Tune in to the flavours. As the bar melts, it will start to release its flavours. A well-made chocolate made from high-quality cocoa beans can take you on a real journey. It might be fruity, floral, earthy, or spicy, but chances are that the flavours you detect will evolve as the chocolate melts. And the more chocolate you taste, the more your palate will develop! Soon you’ll be able to pick up distinct flavours, such as cherry, jasmine, green banana, balsamic vinegar, or liquorice. They’re all there in chocolate.
- Notice the finish. A good chocolate will leave a lasting flavour in your mouth, which can stay with you for five to twenty-five minutes after the chocolate has melted. This is one of the reasons why you only need a small piece of chocolate to have the best possible experience.
- Enjoy! Eating chocolate should always be a pleasure. These tips on how to taste chocolate should help you get the most out of your bars. But if you can’t taste the flavours other people are noticing, don’t worry! Taste is subjective. It’s far more important to enjoy what you are sensing than to strain for something you’re not.
Taste all of our chocolate bars from our Extra Dark Chocolate to Milk Chocolate to White Chocolate. View them here.